Activate a Mobile Phone

Harvard uses DUO Security to provide two-step verification on HarvardKey.

Recommended set up: Smartphone (primary device) & landline (back-up device)

duo mobile push illustrationUsing a mobile phone with Duo Mobile push is recommended for the best experience. Please review all these instructions before beginning the process.

You will need to install the Duo Mobile application on your device, which can be downloaded from your platform's app store (Apple Store, Google Play, Windows Store)


1. Using a device (e.g. a computer) other than the smartphone you are setting up, go to HarvardKey self-service (

2. Click Set Up & Manage Your Two-step Verification. You will be prompted to log in with HarvardKey.

set up two-step

3. After logging in with HarvardKey, choose Set Up Two-step Verification.

set up two step verification

4. Click on the Smartphone tab and then click Continue

smartphone tab

5. Enter your mobile number (10 digit US only) and assign a nickname to your device. Re-enter your phone number. Assign your device a nickname.
Click Continue.
*If you have an international number, click I have an international number for instructions

smartphone enter number

6. The next several steps will be done on your smartphone. Download and install the Duo Mobile app from your phone's app store (Google Play, Apple Store, Windows Store).

  • Open the Duo Mobile app by clicking on the Duo Mobile icon on your phone.
  • Click on the "+" or "key+" icon in the upper right hand corner. This will open your phone's camera for the next step.


  • Scan the barcode by holding your phone up to the screen with the camera function open.
    If you are having trouble scanning the barcode, click send an activation link to your device below the barcode. This will send your phone a text with an activation link.

7. Success! Two-step verification has been activated on your HarvardKey account. Click Add Device to add another device or Back to Manage Account if you are finished. You will need to re-authenticate in order to add another device.

Adding a back-up device is highly recommended. If you do not have access to your primary device, you can use your back-up device instead. Back up devices can be an another smartphone, a landline or basic cell phone, or tablet. 

mobile success screen

What to expect after activating two-step verification
The next time you log in to a HarvardKey-protected resource, you will be prompted to verify your log in in with your preferred authentication method. Send Me a Push is the recommended method for smartphone users.

You can also check the box "Remember me for 30 days" on this screen. This will allow you to verify your identity only once a month (per browser).

Send me a push

For assistance, contact the HUIT Service Desk at or 617-495-7777.


Activate a New Smartphone


Have you replaced your device?

Follow these directions to set up a new smartphone if you have kept your same phone number.


Step 1: Go to 

Step 2: Select “Set Up and Manage Two-Step Verification”

Step 3: Login to HarvardKey. When prompted with the two-step verification page, click “Call me”. Answer the new phone and approve.

Step 4: From the Manage screen, select “Remove” on the old phone.

Step 5: Select “Add Device” and follow the steps to add a new smartphone.